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Friday, February 04, 2011

Review - HulloMail

It's review time once again, and this time it's for an app that can be found across the various mobile platforms; Apple, BlackBerry, Android and 'others'.

HulloMail is a voicemail service with a difference.  All the usual services apply; you can record your own greeting, for instance.  However, the beauty is in the delivery.  There are a number of options.

1. Standard notification, via a HulloMail icon, that there is a message waiting
2. Notification by email, with a link to play the message
3. Listen to your message on the HulloMail website

The main selling point is the fact you can 'see' who has left you a message, without listening to the pre-amble of the mobile operators.  You know the thing - "You have 3 new messages... first new message... message left yesterday at 3:01pm..."

With HulloMail, the visual display will show the name (if the caller is in your contact list), a picture (if associated in your contact list) and the date and time.  You can then choose which message to listen to, in whatever order you like.

Another big benefit is the ability to send HulloMail messages to anybody in your contact list.  So long as they have an email address, they will receive a voice message from you.  It's a great way to say something, that might be difficult to put in words; and as you can add meaning with the tone of your voice, there is less chance of mis-understanding an ambiguous message.

As I mentioned at the beginning, HulloMail is available on all mobile phone platforms, and you can either sync the contact list with your phone, or, if you have one, your Google account.

I've been 'playing' with the system for the last couple of days, and I'm impressed.  Especially as the message retrieval (from your phone) is via a standard landline number, so it comes from any inclusive call time; unlike others which charge to listen to voicemail.  If you have a data plan, you could use that too.

Once you've listened to a voicemail message, you can reply either via a Hullo, a text message or an email.  The on-screen menu makes it easy to do.

HulloMail is available to UK, Ireland, Canada and USA mobile users; however there are some caveats, so check first.

All in all, this is an impressive service.  There are two versions (as per the norm these days!) The free version is ad-supported (although on the BlackBerry there are no adverts!)  On the iPhone version (which I've installed on my iPad) there are small ads.  For the annual sum of £3.99, you can get rid of them.  Personally, I wouldn't bother; although the folk at HulloMail do suggest that paid apps get new functionality first!!

If you prefer to 'see' who has left you a voicemail, before you dial the operator and listen to the whole rambling; then this is the service for you.

Definitely a 5 out of 5 application.

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